How to explore Prague on a time crunch

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Getting to know the capital city in 24 hours or less

Maybe you’ve visited Prague a million times, or perhaps you can’t even locate it on a map. Regardless of the extent of your geographical knowledge, don’t waste your Prague layover sitting in the terminal. Make the most of the time until your next flight by venturing into “The Heart of Europe.”

Getting around

Once you’ve booked your flights to Prague, you’ll land conveniently just outside all the action. Václav Havel Airport Prague (PRG) is located 10 miles east of the city center, meaning your layover adventures will start in no time. If you’re a fan of public transportation, hop on one of three city buses that service Terminals 1 and 2. Purchase your tickets in the airport’s arrival hall, or wait and give the bus driver cash. Alternatively, you can catch the Airport Express (AE) shuttle bus to the Prague Main Railway Station, or reserve a taxi in the airport’s arrival hall. Better yet, if you’d rather have your own set of wheels, rent a car in Prague at the airport counters and put your adventure into drive.

Prague in a day

This enchanting European destination is known as “The City of a Hundred Spires,” so you better start counting! Prague’s striking architecture looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale. The Gothic designs give the city a medieval feel, while the clock towers and castles summon images of knights in shining armor.

To check off at least two spires, make your first stop St. Vitus Cathedral at Prague Castle. This Gothic-style cathedral, founded in 1344, is perhaps best recognized by its twin spires and massive Bell Tower. Known as one of the largest and most important cathedrals in the country, it holds the tombs of Holy Roman emperors and Bohemian kings.

After exploring this magnificent cathedral, mosey next door to Prague Castle, which is considered the world’s largest ancient castle. Built in the 19th century, it houses the Bohemian Crown Jewels. Today, the extensive compound includes St. George’s Basilica, numerous palaces, gardens, museums, and various other attractions and landmarks. Spend some time roaming around and practicing your royal gestures. 

If you’re still making good time, head east across the Vltava River to the Astronomical Clock on the Old Town Square. This whimsical clock has been dazzling visitors since its creation in 1410. A revolutionary concept when it was first built, the clock includes both an astronomical and calendar dial. More impressively, mechanical figures perform an hourly play with features such as a skeleton ringing a bell and a rooster getting crowned.

Lucky enough to have more than 24 hours to spend in the city? Book a Prague hotel and explore outside the city! When it comes to day trips from Prague, consider relaxing in the spa town of Karlovy Vary. Located roughly 79 miles west of Prague, Karlovy Vary is home to thermal mineral springs, which offer spa treatments for the ultimate rejuvenation before your next flight.

During your layover in Prague, forget about waiting it out in the terminal and instead create your own fairy tale adventure in this charming European town.

What are your favorite pit stops in Prague?

Viewfinder Tip: One of the easiest ways to travel around town is by hopping on the city’s metro system.

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Chloe Mulliner

As a staff writer for Expedia, Chloe Mulliner is dedicated to providing top travel tips for your jaunts around the world. She believes there are adventures to be had on every inch of the globe from surf spots on the Peruvian coast to the charming villages of the English countryside. Chloe specializes in showcasing all the must-see attractions on your travel wish list. She lives by the belief that every adventure is a story worth sharing.

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